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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kindergarten fieldtrip to the beach: wet and cold and totally worth it

Yesterday I had the honor of being a chaperon on Ella's kindergarten field trip to Mossman Park in Searsport.   I was given a charge of 3 adorable girls plus Ella and Maya, who was, and I am being serious here, a complete ANGEL for me.  She was so proud and big and compliant (not a word I throw around every day regarding Maya).  I swear when it is her turn to go to kindergarten she will wave from the door without a backward glance as we weep in the corner.

I realized something yesterday playing on the beach with the girls:  this is my job and a totally love it. 

Sometimes I find myself caught in a strange juxtaposition of feeling totally overworked on mundane tasks, endless trips to stores to for constant re-supply along with the everyday tasks of caring for a family and feeling like I have the best job in the world being an at home mom.

I can arrange my schedule to be at almost anything at Ella's school, I can give my time and my energy to projects and events, I can drop her off and pick her up and spend my days with Maya.  Yes, it also means there are high burn-out moments when I spending long days on end with the girls, but they are at an age now where they are truly fun and the possibilities of what we can do stretch before us.

I've heard stay-at-home moms talk about the identity crisis that happens when their youngest child goes off to school and their days are "free" and somehow their value as tied to their job of child rearing is in question now that the children are in someone else's care during the day.  I confess I always thought this indicated an over identification with the role of mother.  Now I get it.

Suddenly yesterday, it was like someone had placed a nugget of understanding like a rock in my hand.  Even when both our girls are in school and I spend my days, managing the house, cooking good food for our family, massaging some, exercising, hopefully writing the book I started 10 years ago, and participating in their school, then that is enough.  It is, purely and simply, enough.  There need be any bigger mission for my "job" to have value. 

Raising kids, both when they are full-time care AND when they go to school is a worthwhile way to spend my life.  Even if that means spending days at the beach and having a blast. It doesn't have to be nose to the grindstone like it was in the early years having toddlers and babies. 

This is a worthwhile and valuable way to spend my time and the firing synapses of my college educated brain.


Here are the girls who charmed my day.

Emma, swinging her new found ponytail...
and looking adorable.

Evelyn showing me what she collected:

I LOVE this picture of Logan.

And, of course, our girls.

Skyler, whose in a different class and I only caught her at the very end of the trip,  looking free and happy on the beach:

Our friend Maureen and her daughter Anita.  She and her sister were adopted from India just this past winter and are doing so well here with their new moms.  They have, however, not yet tried a smores and we will be rectifying that at the earliest opportunity.

I am left with a voracious appetite for summer, countless beach trips, sandy feet, pockets full of sea glass and shells and a permanent imprinting of "Suzanne!  Look what I found!!"  in the excited voices of a gaggle of kindergarten girls.

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